The Friends of California Libre...

11 May 2003

Ennui in the Face of Disaster

Greetings, friends,
Along with this short screedlet I've enclosed a cartoon which sums up, pretty nicely, what I like and don't like about New York (and by extension, what I like and don't like about this American Life) circa 2003.

For my Spanish friends, the caption reads:
�Usted sabe cu�ntas calor�as usted se quema encima de la fricci�n usted mismo de lugar al lugar que desea que usted era muerto?

P.S. Desafortunadamente, no puedo traducir todo. Funci�nelo a trav�s de este website y vea qu� sucede:

Okay, I don't usually hit people up for money, but if you live in Los Angeles, I'd like to encourage you to join the Los Angeles Conservancy. They're pushing a major membership's $35 a year for individuals and $55 for families. In the last few years the Conservancy has gotten very good at preserving historic structures and neighborhoods by using local attorneys and urban planners; many of the historic structures you see in LA (such as my Central Library, the new community college at the Van de Kamp's Bakery, the Standard and the Wiltern Theatre) and other improvements in Hollywood and Downtown are due to their vigilance. So it's money well-spent. Let me know and I will provide the appropriate referral, or you can click your way over to:
Thanks so much.

For this screedlet, I'm interested in the Franco-American War of 2003. Those who know me know how I feel about this (assholes.) Next time you go to Trader Joe's, buy French cheese and French wine. Tell your Fed government, in no uncertain terms, allez � l'enfer.

Here's what the BBC has to say:
Paris-based American expatriate Stefano Catalano speaks about the cooling in ties between the two nations.
and Doonesbury:

Okay, here's nice article in the Village Voice about how we're really going to take over the world (might be an older column now):
Mondo Washington
Corporate Colonialism
by James Ridgeway
Companies . . . March!

Plus, the smell of spring is in the air:
Marijuana Cell Phone Cover Causes a Buzz
Parents Protest Swiss Cannabis Decriminalization

Finally, nothing pleases me better than to see my colleagues get riled up. Here's a recent column from Jim Hightower:
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Let's hear it for America's librarians! The old stereotype of librarians being meek maidens whose only passion is for the Dewey-decimal system has never been true, but now that image is being shattered for good, replaced by a new image of librarians as feisty fighters for freedom.
Who is it that's rushed to the barricades of our nation's democracy, daring to confront John "Mad Dog" Ashcroft as he rips into our Bill of Rights and tries to strip We the People of our hard-won personal liberties? Not the congress - it's meekly going along, providing the authority and funding for Ashcroft's maniacal assault. Not the puffheads of the media - they're too busy shouting "patriotism" and cheering the Bushites to see, hear, or speak any evil by the emperor.
Instead, our gutsy defenders of liberty are librarians in cities and towns throughout the country. They are distributing information and joining public discussion groups to tell us about the freedom-busting legislation that Ashcroft cynically titled the "USA Patriot Act." This thing is a Little Shop of Totalitarian Horrors, including provisions that compel librarians to turn over to the FBI the reading, research, and internet records of any and all library users, prohibiting librarians from even telling you that your records have been seized by government agents. This is no theoretical threat, for librarians report that Ashcroft's agents are making hundreds of these demands.
To battle back, librarians are doing everything from issuing public warnings to refusing to cooperate. Many have also added a new piece of essential machinery to cope with Ashcroft's Brave New America: The paper shredder. Rather than hold your records, librarians are now routinely destroying as many as possible, so they don't have to be complicit in Ashcroft's destruction of our Fourth Amendment right to privacy.

Let us not let ennui stand in the way of happiness and liberty: remember, if you're getting the message, it's for you...I'll quote you Ben Franklin (my favorite): "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

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